This page describes the classes and one-to-one work I do as somatic therapist. Read also a general background to The Feldenkrais Method®. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about my work, or just to discuss whether Feldenkrais could be the right thing for you. Info about upcoming classes here.
The Feldenkrais Method®
Awareness Through Movement® (ATM®) Classes
Cost: £10 per session
The watchphrase of an ATM® class is “reduce effort”. Ideally we need to use an optimal minimum of effort in our movement. Using more than this leads to strain, discomfort, anger and, very often, anxiety.
Feldenkrais has said: Movement without awareness is just work. Moving with awareness gives your nervous system time to adapt itself without pressure from the outside, emphasising the deep personal enjoyment involved in discovering new ways of doing.
If we apply too much effort when learning something new, our nervous system often registers only the effort, not the thing learned.
Good learning happens when the atmosphere in which we learn is made the least pressurised possible.
It has played a huge part in improving my well being both physically and mentally. If I’d had a bad day or I had something weighing on my mind, or whirring around in my head a Feldenkrais ATM class always helped to put things into perspective.The tone of Alan’s voice helped to put one at ease, also there were moments of humour which are important for learning.
(E.N. Lavenham, Suffolk)
At one point I really felt like baby, experimenting baby movement , finding my way. It took some effort to put aside all I know about how to move and also to look at what holds me back , what makes me feel awkward .
Once I managed to put aside some of the “learnt” patters – the movement was natural and pleasant. My body felt happy for days after.
(A.K. Norwich. Yoga teacher)
Functional Integration® (FI®) Lessons
Cost: £50 per session
The aim of Functional Integration® is to explore, in a more intensive and personalised way, the issues and challenges you might face in your physical being.
I recommend that you start with a sequence of five lessons, with anything up to a week between them. This gives your nervous system time to adjust to the pace and deep focus of the techniques I use.
I practice from home (Edinburgh) and from the Penny Jones Pilates Studio (Ipswich).
You will be fully clothed, and might lie on a low, wide and comfortable table, or you might be seated, standing, kneeling or lying on the floor.
I will guide your body using gentle, non-invasive manipulations of your skeleton. I am focusing my thinking on the ways in which your nervous system might be preventing the free communication of forces through your frame. The decisions I make are based on what I find, and what your body allows me to do as your sense of freedom expands. In this way lessons are a ‘conversation’ between the two of us and are responsive to you in the place that you find yourself.
It takes a one or two lessons for your nervous system to recognise and use what is happening during and after a lesson. After this the natural learning processes of being human take over. The effects are subtle and pervasive.
My shoulder issue (brachial neuritis) made a dramatic recovery after one session. Nothing else had affected it in this way before and the painful sensation I had been suffering from for four years mostly disappeared. A weight literally fell from my shoulders
(J.S. Manningree, Essex. Professional musician)
The sessions helped me see how I used my body more clearly – and how it could move differently. The way the sessions changed things such as the position of my arms and shoulders was surprising. I think I had always rolled my shoulders forward – and my GP was very clear that my frozen shoulder was likely to recur as a result.
The session changed that habit rapidly without lots of exercises. … the change has remained for the last few years so I assume it is permanent.The sessions also helped me get back to running after a series of injuries – again very quickly.
(B.L. Ipswich. Hobby runner)
Alan came with his table and gently manipulated my body into positions it had forgotten it could achieve (the first being lying on the table.) It wasn’t all passive. There was much visualisation and after a while some active moves on my part. Limbs that had felt too heavy to lift for some years would rise up with little effort.
Feldenkrais reinforced my belief that the brain is plastic enough to find new pathways to regain at least some of what was lost.
(L.F., Stutton. Writer and Audio Describer. Living with stroke.)
I should also say that it is possible that after the first couple of sessions, the reaction may be less than comfortable. This of course wears off after time and is due to a ‘general protection mode’ within the nervous system that very often regards anything ‘new’ as a threat.
Professional membership and development
I am a member of the UK Feldenkrais Guild, the UK’s only professional association for Feldenkrais practitioners. I completed my training in 2001, in Berlin under the direction of the late Dr Mark Reese.
As a member of the Guild, I am committed to a personal programme of Continuous Professional Development, updating my practice by attending regular advanced training workshops and learning from professionals in other related fields.
For more information please use the contact form here
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Knowing more about Feldenkrais
More about The Feldenkrais Method® here
For more information about The Feldenkrais Method® in the UK, and to find a practitioner near you: www.feldenkrais.co.uk
In terms of your personal (re)search – google “Feldenkrais and……” filling in the issue/challenge/question you might be seeking to address.